Digging: Prurient – Point and Void

Prurient: Point + Void
Ninth Circle Music (2006)

A great new record store opened up in Melbourne six months ago. Ritual Music is poised to be THE place for local music nerds now that Missing Link has merged with Collector’s Corner and become a bargain basement for Kiss and Elvis Costello records. When I took Point and Void up to the counter, Ritual Music’s owner told me it was his favourite Prurient release, ever.

Yowser! My hot little ears couldn’t wait to hear it after that. If you’re familiar with Prurient at all, I can tell you that sonically Point and Void sits somewhere between And Still Wanting and Black Vase. For everyone else, this is a good snapshot of his earlier work, combining Prurient’s fascination with painfully high frequencies and his mid-career interest in slabs of distorted noise and prose. The haunting keyboards that Prurient has been experimenting with more recently don’t exist here.

The latter half of Point and Void is fairly obsessed with field recordings and found sounds, layered into quiet drones and then punctuated with jabs of distorted voice and gut wrenching bass (best illustrated around eight minutes into I have Sinned Immeasurably). This sets it apart from everything else I’ve heard from Prurient so far and while I don’t always have the patience for this subtlety, when I’m in the mood it’s plenty engaging.

Lastly, Point and Void is inspired by, and its lyrics lifted directly from various biblical texts. Not that it’s any sort of religious celebration, it’s way too fuckin’ dark for that. No, the field recordings of (what I assume to be) New York streets complete with police sirens and distant conversations seem to suggest that Prurient thinks we as people will never live up to religious guidance and dogma. Whoa, that’s deep, man. What ever the case, if you’re a Prurient fan waiting for Mr Fenrow to finish playing around with Cold Cave and Ash Pool before putting out some new Prurient, then try some Point and Void to quell your appetite.

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